Malawi detains, charges 3 journalists seeking to cover EU delegation’s return

Malawian authorities should drop the prosecution of three journalists who wanted to cover the return to the country on January 8 of a European Union electoral observer mission, but were instead detained for two hours at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, the capital, and charged with disorderly conduct, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Three journalists from the privately owned Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and Zodiak  Broadcasting Station (ZBS) were at the VIP section of the airport to cover the arrival of the delegation, who were due to present their final report on the disputed May 21 election,…Read more

Journalists threatened, assaulted while covering local politician in Sierra Leone

Authorities in Sierra Leone should investigate recent attacks against journalists covering local politics, and should ensure that reporters can do their jobs safely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On January 4, a group of men slapped and hit Foday Conteh, a reporter with the privately owned Calabash newspaper, after he arrived at the home of Musa Bamba Fodey Jalloh, a minister of parliament, to interview the politician, Conteh told CPJ in a phone interview. The attack took place at Jalloh’s home in Sierra Leone’s northern Bendugu village, and Conteh said he was afraid…Read more

British Virgin Islands law to impose fines, jail terms for online defamation

British Virgin Islands Governor Augustus Jaspert should reject cybercrime legislation recently approved by the territory’s legislature, or require revisions to the bill to protect press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On October 18, the islands’ House of Assembly approved the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime (Amendment) Act 2019, according to local media reports. CPJ reviewed a copy of the bill sent by Freeman Rogers, editor of the local weekly The BVI Beacon. Section 14B of the bill criminalizes “electronic defamation,” defined as using a computer to defame someone, with penalties of up to three…Read more

Pakistani journalist sentenced to five years in prison under anti-terrorism laws

Pakistani authorities should immediately release and drop all legal proceedings against journalist Nasrullah Chaudhry, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Chaudhry was convicted under anti-terrorism laws and sentenced to five years in prison on December 21 over the alleged possession of banned literature, according to news reports. “The anti-terrorism charges against Nasrullah Chaudhry were always implausible and his conviction is an absurd miscarriage of justice,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Chaudhry should be freed at once, and no journalist should go to prison over possession of magazines or pamphlets.” Chaudhry, a district…Read more

Nigerian security forces fire on journalists, protesters

Nigerian authorities should investigate attacks by security forces on journalists at a recent protest in Abuja, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On November 12, security forces fired live rounds to disperse a group of demonstrators at the Department of State Services (DSS) headquarters in Abuja, the capital, and shot at journalists and beat at least one reporter, according to journalists who spoke with CPJ, news reports, and a video of the protest uploaded to YouTube by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting. Demonstrators gathered at the DSS building…Read more

Arson attack damages indigenous newspaper office in Canada

Authorities in the Six Nations Territory in Canada should conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into an arson attack on the offices of the Turtle Island News newspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In the early morning of October 28, a truck rammed into the outlet’s newsroom in Six Nations Territory in Southern Ontario, and unidentified individuals doused the vehicle and the building with gasoline before setting it ablaze, according to a report by the paper and Turtle Island News publisher Lynda Powless, who spoke to CPJ via phone. No one was hurt in the incident, but…Read more

Nigerian journalists charged with criminal defamation, breach of peace

Authorities should drop all charges against journalists Joe Ogbodu and Prince Amour Udemude, and reform Nigeria’s penal code to ensure that journalism is not criminalized, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On October 24, a magistrate court in Asaba, the capital of Nigeria’s southern Delta State, arraigned Ogbodu, an editor with the privately owned news website Big Pen Nigeria, and Udemude, a reporter with the privately owned National Mirror newspaper, on four counts of criminal defamation and one count of disturbing the peace, according to the journalists and a report by Big Pen Nigeria. Defamation and disturbing the…Read more

CPJ publishes 2019 Global Impunity Index

On 29 October, the Committee to Protect Journalists published an important document called "Getting Away With Murder". The 2019 Global Impunity Index highlights the growing problem of countries where journalists are slain but their killers go free. This important report can be accessed here and should be read by all journalists and those that believe in freedom of the media.Read more

Pakistan denies entry to CPJ program coordinator Steven Butler

Media and human rights groups including IFEX members condemn Pakistan's decision to prevent the entry of Steven Butler, who was scheduled to speak at a human rights conference  On 17 October the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler was refused entry into Pakistan, despite having a valid visa. Butler was told by airport authorities in Lahore that his document was voided because his name was “on a stop list of the Interior Ministry.” Butler was expected at the Asma Jahangir Conference, the largest annual gathering of human rights advocates in…Read more

Indian reporter who covers corruption beaten, left for dead

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an independent investigation into this week’s severe beating of a reporter in India’s east coast state of Andhra Pradesh who has repeatedly criticized a local legislator and the corruption associated with the state’s sand mafia. Those behind this attack, the third this journalist has received in as many years, must be identified, RSF said. Nagarjuna Reddy, who works for the local Telugu-language daily Neti Surya, was nearly killed in this latest assault, which occurred shortly after he left a police station in the town of Ongole on the…Read more